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Death squads and US democracy

Discussion in 'Conspiracy Debates' started by khothla, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. khothla

    khothla Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2008
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    Death squads and US democracy

    Bill Van Auken

    July 14, 2009

    The revelation that the CIA initiated a covert program, apparently involving assassinations, and kept it secret from the US Congress on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney marks a deepening of the crisis in the American state apparatus and an indication of the degeneration of democratic processes within the US.

    Last April, under the pressure of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama was compelled to make public a series of previously classified memos issued by the Bush Justice Department which authorized acts of torture in chilling detail. The administration attempted to portray the public airing of these documents exposing crimes of the Bush administration as a signal of the new "openness" and "transparency" of the Obama White House.

    At the same time, the White House made it clear that it had no intention of holding anyone accountable for these crimes, with Obama making a visit to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia to reassure those who supervised and carried out much of the torture that he meant them no harm.

    Burying the crimes of the Bush administration in the past, however, has proven impossible, not only because of their grave character, but also because much of what was done has yet to be fully exposed and many of the same methods are continuing under Obama.

    The way in which this latest revelation has emerged is highly revealing. It has come to the surface as a result of Obama�s CIA director, Leon Panetta, briefing congressional intelligence committees on the matter. The CIA director went to Congress to give the briefings on June 23�the day after he himself became aware of the secret program and ordered it terminated.

    The Obama appointee supposedly in charge of America�s spy agency became aware of this operation only four months after assuming his post.

    The implications are clear. The CIA maintained the secrecy ordered by Cheney even after the latter had left office, and continued to conceal the existence and nature of the covert operation not only from Congress, but from the Obama administration itself.

    The exact nature of the secret program has yet to be made public either by the CIA or those members of Congress briefed by Panetta.

    A report published in the Wall Street Journal Monday, citing three unnamed "former intelligence officials," suggests that it was aimed at organizing the "targeted assassinations" of individuals deemed enemies of the United States in the so-called "global war on terrorism." In other words, the CIA appears to have been organizing death squads.

    "Amid the high alert following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a small CIA unit examined the potential for targeted assassinations of Al Qaeda operatives, according to the three former officials," the Journal reports.

    The Journal quotes one of the officials as saying, "It was straight out of the movies. It was like: Let�s kill them all."

    The description of this operation corresponds to charges made by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh earlier this year that the Bush administration had created an "executive assassination ring."

    Hersh, who said that he was writing a book based on his findings, linked the operation to the military�s Joint Special Operations Command, which frequently works in tandem with the CIA. "They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office," he said.

    At the same time, there are suggestions that another facet of the program was the development of a spying program by the agency directed at American citizens and others within the United States itself. The CIA�s charter makes any such domestic operations illegal.

    Hersh also pointed to this feature in a speech delivered at the University of Minnesota last March. He said, "After 9/11...the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it."

    The reaction of the Democratic administration and congressional leadership to these developments is predictably craven. The most vocal response was that of a group of House members who sought to twist Panetta�s words into an alibi for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who disingenuously claimed in May that she had been lied to in a 2002 briefing about the CIA�s use of water-boarding and other torture methods against detainees. (See: "The lies of the CIA and Nancy Pelosi")

    Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Diane Feinstein of California, issued a tepid response to the revelations of the CIA program kept secret on the orders of Cheney. "We were kept in the dark," she said. "That�s something that should never, ever happen again... because the law is very clear."

    Should never happen again? Feinstein�s reaction dovetails neatly with Obama�s demand that Washington "look forward and not backward," thereby continuing the cover-up of the crimes of the Bush administration. If the "law is very clear," than it was clearly broken by Cheney and top-ranking officials in the CIA in what amounts to a conspiracy against the American people, who are themselves still "in the dark." Yet there is no suggestion that these crimes should be prosecuted.

    One indication that at least some investigation is being considered came from Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke extensively to Newsweek magazine. In an article posted on the magazine�s web site Sunday, Holder is quoted as saying that he was "shocked and saddened" after reading the still secret 2004 CIA inspector general�s report on the torture of detainees at CIA "black sites."

    Given the continuous revelations over the past several years, from Abu Ghraib to recent reports leaked from the Red Cross, to the testimony of men who passed through the hellish abuse at Bagram Air Base and Guant�namo Bay, if Holder was genuinely "shocked," that can only mean that crimes more heinous still have yet to be revealed.

    Any "independent probe" organized by the Justice Department�if it is forced to mount such an effort�will be so narrowly circumscribed as to ensure that those most responsible for torture and war crimes are never touched.

    The end result is that the power of the state-within-a-state constituted by the intelligence agencies and the military continues its unimpeded growth, aided and abetted by the Democrats and the Obama White House.

    This poses grave dangers to the working class. All of the crimes for which the CIA was infamous in an earlier period, earning it the title Murder Inc., are being reprised on an even bigger scale under conditions of an immense crisis of American and world capitalism and unprecedented social polarization within the US itself.

    The existence of a secret program involving assassination and domestic surveillance�concealed from Congress on Cheney�s orders even under the new administration�carries with it the threat that death squads and political repression will be employed against domestic opposition and, above all, any independent movement of workers against the rising unemployment and falling living standards created by the profit system.

    The settling of accounts with the crimes of the Bush administration and the struggle to prevent even greater crimes being carried out both at home and abroad can be prosecuted only by an independent political movement of the working class based on a socialist and internationalist perspective. A key task of such a movement is the defense of democratic rights. That includes the prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all those responsible for the crimes of torture and aggressive war.

    Bill Van Auken

  2. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2008
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    The CIA being involved in assassinations isn't exactly new, nor unwanted. Imagine how much smoother things would have been if they had taken out Saddam about 20 years ago.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2009
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    San Diego, CA
    Poor khothla is so busy revealing all the awful secrets and programs of our government, that he failed to notice one important detail about this one: it NEVER HAPPENED.

    It was proposed in Congress, and passed by Congress. (Now the Dems in Congress are screaming that they were 'Never told about it' - gotta love those poor simps for their entertainment value if nothing else). It was never put into action by George W. Bush or any of his agencies.

    The reason Congress wasn't briefed on it recently, was that there was nothing to brief. Nothing was ever done, and the program was sh|tcanned.

    When khothla finds out this little detail, it won't deter him, though. He'll just switch to the next shocking conspiracy and keep right on complaining.

    As I said, there has to be some entertainment value here somewhere, at least.
  4. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
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    South of the Haggis Munching Line
    Ahhhh shucks.....why let facts get in the way of a good story!!.........;)

    Which if you look at the first paragraph is quite hilarious

    The CIA managing to keep something secret!........Cool, I reckon they'd be pretty chuffed at that! But seriously any article that with "CIA" and "Covert" in the same sentence must be a conspiracy theory............

    Which is where this thread is to be consigned.............:eek:
  5. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2007
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    The US government has been training death squads for years. Go into the search feature of this website and enter stuff such as "Death squads", "Torture", and "CIA".

    1 person likes this.
  6. Saxon

    Saxon Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    The CIA does not assassinate. Never have, and never will. It is actually against US law for them to be part of it. How do you think Castro is still alive, you morons? The CIA could have taken him out easily. Apparently, it goes against your Constitution. I think it is stupid myself, but there it is.
  7. samsara15

    samsara15 Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
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    Moonbase 2B
    The CIA failed to assassinate Castro, years ago. The CIA routinely does such things. What planet do you live on, sax?
  8. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2007
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    That became law in 1976, and it only bans political assassinations.
    1 person likes this.
  9. dahermit

    dahermit Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2007
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    Uhhhh, you had better do a little historical research. The it will show that the CIA attempted and failed with several assassination plots including recruiting his former girl friend who agreed to do it, then backed out. If memory serves, the law forbidding assassinations of leaders was a result of all that coming to light. Castro was aware of the CIA's plotting and at one point, when in New York to address the U.N., his entourage purchased live chickens, killed and processed them in his hotel bathtub to avoid the possibility of poisoning.

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